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just became homeless... real life test...

Posted: Mon Mar 02, 2009 10:13 pm
by piercej
im not sure why im going to write this post, maybe for encouragement, maybe just to be heard, maybe it will help someone else too. in any case, here goes...

for reasons that i wont go into, but through no crisis or mistake of my own (because its all a story anyway right? haha), i will be homeless in less than 4 hours. i know im not the first person to be faced with this lately (in the states or anywhere for that matter) but obviously what i have learned here and through all of the books, tapes, etc... is going to be severely tested over the next days, weeks... while i live out of my car, and occasionally at a relatives house during the day. my family is rather... disfunctional and i choose not to live with them. i tried to, but choose not to now, and that is very unlikely to change.

does anyone out there have experience with this? advice?

i obviously feel anxiety, some shame, some anger, some fear, but am not struggling too much on properly dealing with them. i am actively spending the now working toward a solution, and so that is enough of course, but it is likely negative thoughts will be bombarding me soon, and i hope i am able to maintain my perspective of calm and acceptance, while allowing the negative emotions to come and go without judgement or label... as the "observer".

any other suggestions to this situation would be greatly appreciated. thanks.

Re: just became homeless... real life test...

Posted: Mon Mar 02, 2009 10:35 pm
by letitgo
Hello PierceJ,

My advice would be to make sure and take care of yourself. Tragedy can be a lightning rod for presence and change and new awareness, but be sure and put your own necessities where they belong which is front and center. In other words, don't be looking so hard for the answer to why this is happening that you miss the opportunity to experience the happening itself.

There are a few people on this site that are virtual encyclopedias for the help that is available through various groups and organizations and I'm sure you will be getting a great deal of this information from them very soon.

If you didn't experience the darkness, how would you recognize the light?

Good luck! Norm

Re: just became homeless... real life test...

Posted: Tue Mar 03, 2009 5:43 am
by thenow
Hope you are doing well. I can only imagine what you are going through right now.

Awakening often happens to us when we are at our rock bottom. Look at this as a turning point. For example, can this be a time when you really have to work on your relationship with your family?

This definitely is a time when you are left with nothing but your own existance.

Shelter is our very essential next only to food and bodily needs. I would really encourage you to put all your energy and time in going to local organizations serving people who just lost their home and also look online.

Maybe talk to friends or family to see if they have a spare room to share in exchange you will do chore or child care or whatever.

No, never look at this in shame. It's not your fault. Don't make it into a fault. Don't make this into a problem. Problem is in the eyes of beholder. See this as something that you are here to learn. See this as something you will come out stronger. Set that as your goal.

This is a problem in other people's eye who have a home. But for you, this doesn't have to be a problem.

I remember when Oprah interview Bryon Katie, Oprah asked about her overweight problem. Bryon asked: To whom are you overweight? Oprah really thought about it and said it's to other people. To herself, she is not really overweight, because her body has been serving her well, taking her everywhere, she is basically healthy, and her body is doing a great job.....

To you, having no shelter is not a problem, looking at it as a problem is the problem.

Just put all your energy and time in looking for support and organization to help you. In the meantime, you are still you with your two feet on the ground. You have a magnificent brain and body and spirit. Put all of them to be positive and put them to work out this situation.

Let us know how you do. We are here for you!!

Re: just became homeless... real life test...

Posted: Tue Mar 03, 2009 9:03 pm
by piercej
thanks for the support.

some interesting aspects of the first 24 hours for those who care to know what it would be like to face this personally...

so day 1 down. no sweat. no troubling thoughts at all, in fact, i felt challenged. i slept in my car in the back parking lot of a church and read 2 books i bought, one by adyashanti, my first. only interesting point to mention is that for the first half of the night, i would wake up in the middle of a very scary situation, someone would be standing right outside my window a couple times, a few times a car would pull up, once a person in my car was pinning me down and i could not resist... like being paralyzed. very scary in the moment and i would instantly scan my surroundings. must be my subconscious fear coming up of being in a less than 100% secure location, or of being discovered. in any case, i would just realize it was a dream and not sweat it at all. after the first few hours, the worry left me and i slept relatively well. i am amazed at how well i am handling this, and it is all thanks to eckhart and others like him.

on the plus side, a very very nice job prospect is coming to fruition this week that i am ridiculously qualified for, and already passed the first interview for, so we'll see.

Re: just became homeless... real life test...

Posted: Tue Mar 03, 2009 9:14 pm
by Larryfroot
Hallo mate, I won't ask how you are doing, because it is so bloody obvious that homelessness is a pain in the arse. Excuse the lingo, but somehow 'blinking flip' fails to convey the empathy I have for you and your situation. I had my first homeless stint when I was 14 on account of my "home" which had degenerated into the worst dysfunction imaginable. In the 1980's I was pretty much homeless all the time. Some of it was good, believe it or not. But none of it really prepared me for the next step, moving on, progressing etc etc. Up until a couple of years ago I worked as a project manager for the Big Issue, a street magazine sold by the homeless, here in the UK.

So homelessness. The problem isn't becoming homeless, or even being homeless. From the longer view, the problem is in staying in a homeless lifestyle long enough to become 'embedded' in it. This wasn't really a problem from the point of view of a minority who took up homelessness in the same mind-set as a Hindu would become a mendicant. But when one takes to drink or drugs in order to deal with the uncertainties as well as take the edge off being in such a new and unwelcome situation, that's dangerous, because that nails you to homelessness. Then you have two problems. One, your homeless and two, you are giving away your power to make conscious choices.

I don't know what charities and public bodies there are in the USA, but contact them and quickly. You are not the only casualty in the credit crunch, and if you can meet others to share your experience, hopes and fears, that is immeasurably helpful. Look to help others, even if its just being mindlessly optimistic, even if it means listening. This is no time for your spiritual inclination to get side-tracked into naval gazing.

Lastly...and this is so obvious and positive and fantastic...and I don't know why more homeless people do it, well, I do, but those that overcame their sense of inadequacy (an easy thing to feel, I know) found such a springboard to help them keep structure in their own lives, benefit others (which gives one so much confidence and warmth) and provide a spring-board back into society. Put it this way, their won't be a gap in your CV, and being able to pick and choose how and who to help is a real luxury! lastly charities (at least in the UK) offer training to consistent volunteers, which looks very good in a CV. After all, anyone who can become homeless through the credit crunch (that will touch a nerve amongst employers as they will also know others who have been badly burned) and still maintain discipline and focus enough to treat it as an opportunity to go in the direction you may have wanted to do before. Its just that this time there really is nothing to lose from a change of direction.

At the end of the day, there is only one failure in life. And that's not to have done your best. For as long as you can look at yourself and feel comfortable with and respectful of your own sincere wish to be of value to others by being of value yourself, then everything is else is just stuff.

Obviously, I have no idea what homeless USA is like. But I do remember that in the last recession here in the UK, attitudes to the homeless were signifcantly softer than they were before, because so many people were worried about losing their homes. That is something that can work for you.

No, its not teh end of everything, but the time will ask questions of you. Do you numb out, do you distract, or do you look up amidst the wreckage of your situation, not with a view of reassembling it all, but with the new and fresh expanse of possibilities that you can now enter and create in. But to summarise:

Do not hit the bottle or do drugs - if you have to, choose cannabis, marijuana, whatever you call it. That can be a bit deadening, but nowhere near the harm that alcohol and the rest of the druggie stuff will wreak.

Remember, you can take someone out of the street, but the real challenge is to take the street out of the person. Act swiftly with regards volunteering. If its a local church or a recognised charity, get out there and do it fast. On average I'd say you have three months in your new lifestyle before inner reference points will change from social norms into homeless points of view. Three months in which to act rather than going with the flow. Going with the flow is fine in other situations, but as regards homelessness, and especially hanging out with long-term homeless, going with the flow should be reserved for dead fish.

Lastly, and most importantly, volunteer.

The best of luck, and you carry in you something of immense worth. It can only be seen when we respect what we are and measure our measure by the yardstick of how much we can benefit and help others. LF

Re: just became homeless... real life test...

Posted: Wed Mar 04, 2009 4:52 am
by thenow
Larryfroot wrote:
Lastly, and most importantly, volunteer.
This is such a great idea!! Yes, volunteer!

You know, if you volunteer in schools or preschool programs, such as Head Start, you can stay there all day long and have meals with children. These children need you to read books to them, play with them, teach them things, and so on. You can also serve the families in whatever resources and skills you can bring in.

This will fill your day with so much purposes and meaning! Usually the whole Head Start system need various kind of talents as well. So you might be able to transition from being a volunteer to become an employee.

And wish you the best with the prospective job that you told us about!! :D

Re: just became homeless... real life test...

Posted: Sun Mar 08, 2009 7:08 am
by piercej

2 days ago, i found $400 in a back pack i hardly ever use. i think it was the $400 i thought was stolen from me 2 years ago. back then i used to drink a lot. i apparently had hidden it, and then forgot where when i woke up. embarrassing, but the only thing that makes sense.

i also sold a car i had stored for a year because the motor had broken down. i sold it for $500 within 48 hours. i have been very very lucky lately.

i am no longer homeless. i rented a room out of a house with 2 very nice roommates. i took a very humble job, and am still in the hunt for a much better one. thank you all for the support. i slept in my car for 4 nights, and thanks to eckhart, i really never had a problem in any one specific moment. i was never depressed or negative. at worst i was not sleeping for more than an hour at a time. wah. thanks for the support to the contributors. i have lost a lot of fears this week and gained a lot of respect for some of society's "worst".


Re: just became homeless... real life test...

Posted: Sun Mar 08, 2009 2:22 pm
by Onceler
Great news on all counts!

Re: just became homeless... real life test...

Posted: Sun Mar 08, 2009 9:17 pm
by Larryfroot
That is such wonderful news! Well done you, for accepting so much of the situation whilst freeing yourself from it. I wish you well in all lifes circumstances, and yes, these episodes deepen our empathy and humanity which brings us so much closer to the peace and joy that we are. Much love to you, now and always. LF

Re: just became homeless... real life test...

Posted: Sun Mar 08, 2009 9:32 pm
by thenow
I am so happy for you, especially knowing that you didn't make this a suffering for yourself!!

So it's only four nights. Do you know that at one point, Dr. Phil lived in his car for three months?

Another good thing is you get another job. I just saw on CNN that one janitor job opening in a school attracted 700 applicants, many of whom highly qualified.

This time you will cherish whatever you have so much more that you will do everything you can to make it work!

You make my day!! :D

Re: just became homeless... real life test...

Posted: Sun Oct 31, 2010 12:55 am
by mohanrao786
Dear Pierce,

Ur Updates has inspired me very much.A very much thank u for sharing your experience.


Re: just became homeless... real life test...

Posted: Tue Nov 02, 2010 11:53 am
by halojoe
I have been humbled by reading the experiences of homelessness here. I appreciate even more the wonderful life that I have.

Re: just became homeless... real life test...

Posted: Tue Nov 02, 2010 4:20 pm
by smiileyjen101
Good to hear your lack of shelter has been resolved.

'Luck' is an attitude, and you have a great attitude!

If it looks like an issue that may come up again maybe look into becoming a 'housesitter' a search online will fill you in on a growing trend that benefits both parties.